Affordable homes plan cash boost

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DOZENS of new affordable homes are set to be built across Wigan.

Wigan Council officers have successfully secured more investment from the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), the national housing and regeneration agency for England.

The funding will enable the council to continue its current partnership with Wigan and Leigh Housing, which has delivered over 100 new affordable homes across the borough since 2010.

Although the proposals are at an early stage, with the locations and plans still to be finalised, the council is aiming to build around 70 new homes to high environmental standards and also help regenerate vacant council land and provide local construction jobs.

The funding comes from the Affordable Housing Programme. Specific amounts are yet to be finalised with the contracts.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet neighbourhoods champion, said: “This funding, plus council money and land, will ensure continued investment in affordable homes over the coming years, which will be available to rent. We aim to build on several small schemes across the borough as part of continued improvements to our stock of properties.

“At a time when the government programme is being cut and many other areas have missed out, this represents a major success for Wigan.”

The council has been eligible to bid to the HCA since 2009 and the first wave of properties includes several in Leigh and Scholes.

In addition to this, house builders in the borough have attracted further HCA funding at nine private housing sites, including Worthington Park, Standish and Greenfields, Billinge.

The FirstBuy scheme is aimed at helping first time buyers onto the housing ladder by providing the assistance of an equity loan, reducing the need for a 20 to 25 per cent deposit.